What is significant?
Overnewton Gatehouse was built for pastoralist William Taylor in c1859 as the entrance lodge to his Overnewton estate. Overnewton house (H200) was the centre of this large estate, acquired by Taylor in 1849. The first house was built in 1849 with extensive additions in 1859. Overnewton employees and their families occupied the gatehouse until the final break-up of the estate for closer settlement in 1905.
Overnewton Gatehhouse is a small single storey house asymmetrically composed and built in the same manner of construction as Overnewton. It has bluestone walls, probably rubble rather than coursed. The exterior walls are finished with harling in the same manner as Overnewton. Harling is a lime and gravel render, traditionally thrown on rather than trowelled on. The gabled roofs, terminated with crow-stepped bluestone parapets and topped by a pressed cement ball-shaped finial, are identical to those at Overnewton. The style is Scottish Baronial, a reference to William Taylor's Scottish origins. The plans for the main house were reputedly sent out from Scotland following a visit there by Taylor in 1856-59. Melbourne architect Thomas Taylor supervised the works.
The interior plan of the gatehouse is intact, retaining the cottage feel of a nineteenth century gatehouse. The kitchen, with a small pantry, adjoins the living room, and shares the single chimney flue. A plain timber fireplace in the kitchen is the only ornamentation. The only bedroom is joined via a small passageway to the rear. All ceilings are tongue and grooved beaded lining boards with characteristic coving that follows the pitch of the roof.
How is it significant?
Overnewton Gatehouse is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it is significant?
Overnewton Gatehouse is architecturally and historically significant as a rare example of a nineteenth century estate gatehouse. Gatehouses to large private estates from the mid-nineteenth century period in Victoria are particularly rare. It is architecturally important for its picturesque plan and form, a typical design mode for gatehouses of large estates.
Overnewton Gatehouse is architecturally significant as a clear expression of the Scottish Baronial style. It complements the styling of the main house at Overnewton, known to have been extended in this style in 1859. Overnewton house is the largest and clearest expression of the style in Victoria. The gatehouse is comparable to, and contemporary with, the gatehouse at Ercildoune, also in the Scottish Baronial style.
Overnewton Gatehouse is historically significant for its associations with the Taylor family, particularly the pastoral pioneer William Taylor. The gatehouse was part of the Overnewton estate that remained in the ownership of the Taylor family from 1849 until 1959. The gatehouse, now cut off from the house by twentieth century development, demonstrates the size of Taylor's original estate prior to its subdivision.